News

Hollywood big-screen diversity out of step with U.S.

Hollywood big-screen diversity out of step with U.S.

HOLLYWOOD:But in its evaluation of 3,932 speaking characters in 100 films from last year, researchers determined that 5 percent of characters on screen were Hispanics compared with 17.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2013, according to government figures. Photo: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hollywood has not meaningfully increased the number of minority characters on the big screen and Hispanics were the most underrepresented in films, a study released on Monday said.

About three-quarters of film characters were white last year, which was in line with annual totals over the previous five years, according to the study, conducted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

But in its evaluation of 3,932 speaking characters in 100 films from last year, researchers determined that 5 percent of characters on screen were Hispanics compared with 17.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2013, according to government figures.

“Hispanics and Latinos are one of the fastest-growing groups in the U.S.,” Marc Choueiti, an author of the study, said in a statement. “If popular films were the only way to gauge diversity, viewers would be completely unaware of this. Individuals from this group are almost invisible on screen.”

Furthermore, the study found that Hispanic men and women were the most sexualized group in Hollywood, with 37.5 percent of female characters shown partially or fully naked, and 16.5 percent of males portrayed in revealing or tight clothing.

Black actors fared better, the study found, with 14.1 percent of the speaking parts. Blacks make up 13.2 percent of the U.S. population.

But only five of the 107 directors credited in the movies examined were black, the study found. Black directors, who were all male, were also more likely to direct black actors.

Minority-directed films, however, scored big at this year’s Oscar awards with “12 Years a Slave,” a film by Steve McQueen, who became the first black director to win the best picture honor. Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron took home the best director award for his outer space drama “Gravity.”

The study faulted Hollywood for not changing the representation of minorities in line with demographic changes in the United States, where nearly half of children younger than five are not white.

“Despite the demographic changes at work in the U.S., films still portray a homogenized picture of the world,” the study said, adding that the findings “illustrate how existing cultural stereotypes may still govern how characters from different backgrounds are shown on screen.”

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Steve Orlofsky)

Recent Headlines

8 hours ago in Viral Videos

An honest trailer for ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’

16-overlay-9

Before you see "X-Men: Apocalypse," relive the '90s cartoon that you still remember - and the theme song that you can't get out of your head.

9 hours ago in Entertainment

Judge denies motion for new Gawker-Hulk Hogan trial

hulk84135568722

A Florida judge has denied Gawker's motion for a new trial in the Hulk Hogan sex-video case and won't reduce a $140 million jury verdict.

15 hours ago in Entertainment

Depp back as Mad Hatter in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

22-overlay-3

The movie follows on from the 2010 box office hit "Alice in Wonderland," which starred Depp alongside Australian actress Mia Wasikowska as the titular heroine and Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen.

15 hours ago in Music

Jennifer Nettles speaks Spanish

jennifernettles703060601531

Jennifer Nettles not only duets with Jennifer Lopez on the song "My House," but they can talk to each other in English or in Spanish.

15 hours ago in Music

Little Big Town teams up with Pharrell

25-overlay-8

The group's new album, "Wanderlust," comes out June 10.